Twirling Dervish

I thought this was hilarious. It’s written by my mother.
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Why do people eat noodles? Why do people eat spaghetti? This is not a rhetorical question, like why do people eat food? I am trying to get to the bottom of what it is about noodles and spaghetti that makes them the preferred mode, for a number of people, of ingesting carbohydrates.

Appearance wise they do not have a lot going for them. They look like long worms suffering from anaemia and anorexia. The flat forms, in addition, appear to have been run over by a steamroller, not having sufficient energy due to the prevailing indispositions to get out of the way in time. In the raw state they look like very thin sticks, matchsticks if you will but very long ones. Once they have undergone the ordeal of boiling water they flop around, lifelessly if the exposure has been overlong, with a little spring if it has been too short. One can’t tell by looking at them, but applying a finger will establish that they are slimy. At this point there is no way of overcoming these drawbacks.

Noodles and their ilk have no taste unless they have been severely doctored. They are made with refined white flour (or rice flour), which has no taste. The flour is mixed with water, which also has no taste. Sometimes an egg or two is added, but eggs are not known for taste either, as witness a kiss without a mustache. The resulting mix, having been shaped, is put into boiling water which may or may not have been salted and which is thrown out anyway after the creatures are cooked.

However if one has got this far then it behoves one to improve the glaggy pile of gluten and starch with a sauce, with meats and veggies and herbs and seasonings. It is possible that it – the gluten and starch – functions as a base for the said sauce, meats and veggies, but it is less likely to complement the concoction and more likely, in fact, to require additional seasoning to counteract its essential tastelessness, see para above. Care has to be exercised to ensure that the meats and veggies are not robbed, not completely swindled, of their own flavours and textures. If sufficient precautions aren’t taken the meats and veggies will languish on the sidelines, humans will starve for lack of flavoursome nourishment, and noodles will overrun the planet.

To get back to my first question. See above. I can’t be bothered to type it out again. It’s not really a matter of why, but of how. I had seen it on tv, and when we went to Rome I saw it for real. There is a pile of long white things, which I am going to call noodles for the sake of brevity, in front of one, on a plate, maybe some sauce, some bits of veggie and some bits of meat. There is a fork. I will not even try to get into chopsticks. One picks up the fork, inserts it into the pile, collects a few noodles and twirls it around to make a tidy bundle, though some laggards fall by the wayside. When the fork is sufficiently loaded it is raised to mouth level. At this point, inevitably, there will be one or two strings of noodle hanging from it, unless one is well practised. The forkful is conveyed into one’s mouth and the hangers-on are sucked in afterwards.

At what point is it politic to stop twirling? When the fork has a reasonably tight mouthful. There is no other logical way of stopping the twirl. Theoretically if one were to go on twirling the whole plateful of noodles would wind themselves around the fork, barring a few recalcitrant numbers.

Etiquette says that if there are stragglers, the forkful must be dumped and one must start all over again. Etiquette says one should do the twirling against the sloping side of the plate. If a spoon is provided, one can twirl against the spoon, but that is not quite the done thing. Cutting noodles is also not done. Anyway it does not work because as soon as they are cut, the slimy little buggers slither off and you get a mouthful of nothing.

There is no reason to eat carbohydrates in this form.

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One Response to Twirling Dervish

  1. 😀 But somehow I like eating spagetti. But do not enjoy cooking it. It’s troublesome to say the least. I have to agree with your mum.

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